- The Washington Times - Monday, October 7, 2019

The U.S Army will be sending thousands of troops to Europe next year to participate in the largest set of multi-national military exercises there since the Cold War, the Pentagon announced Monday.

“Defender-Europe 20” is designed to test the U.S. military’s ability to rapidly move a large combat force of soldiers and their equipment from the U.S. to respond to a potential crisis. Army officials in Europe said military units from 18 allied countries also are expected to take part.

The U.S. Army Europe-led training mission is scheduled from April to May 2000. Movement of troops and equipment will begin in February. About 37,000 U.S. and allied troops are expected to take part with about 20,000 U.S. military personnel deploying from the U.S., officials said.

“Defender-Europe 20 is a great opportunity to demonstrate the U.S. Army’s unmatched ability to rapidly project forces across the globe while operating alongside our allies and partners in multiple contested domains,” Lt. Gen. Charles Flynn, the Army’s deputy chief of staff, said in a statement.

A U.S. Army division headquarters, three armored brigade combat teams and an artillery brigade will provide the combat troops for the exercise. Selected units from the U.S. Air Force, the Navy and Marine Corps also will take part. Some of the units will deploy to Europe with their own equipment, while others will draw vehicles from pre-positioned storage units in Europe. Exercise activities will take part in at least 10 countries in Europe.

“Readiness is not only about having the right forces and capabilities in place throughout the theater, it’s about exercising our ability to quickly receive and integrate forces with our own and those of our allies and partners,” Lt. Gen. Christopher Cavoli, U.S. Army Europe commander, said in a statement.

Defender-Europe 20 is reminiscent of a series of Cold War-era military drills in Europe that were designed to counter a possible Warsaw Pact invasion of what was then known as West Germany. Like those exercises, the new war games are focused on swiftly transporting U.S. troops to a combat theater in Europe.

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